Nigeria’s economic outlook not bleak – FG replies Atiku

The federal authorities says the pronouncement by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that the way forward for the nation’s economic system is ‘bleak’ is sheer scaremongering.

Atiku, the opposition Peoples Democratic Occasion (PDP)’s presidential candidate within the forthcoming 2023 basic elections, made the pronouncement whereas presenting his Economic Blueprint to the general public not too long ago.

The Minister of Data and Tradition, Lai Mohammed, at a media briefing on Thursday in Abuja, nonetheless, mentioned whereas Nigeria could also be going through economic challenges, its future is not hopeless.

“The nation’s economic outlook is not bleak. As a substitute, the economic system has been resilient, having recovered from two recessions inside 5 years – in 2016 and 2020.

“The Nigerian economic system sustained its restoration from the 2020 recession for the seventh consecutive quarter, rising by 3.54 per cent in actual phrases in Q2 2022, from 3.11 per cent in Q1 2022.

Honorable Minister of Information and Culture , Alh. Lai Mohammed addresses Pressmen [PHOTO: @FMICNigeria]
Minister of Data and Tradition , Alh. Lai Mohammed addresses Pressmen [PHOTO: @FMICNigeria]

“Many sectors recorded constructive economic progress reflecting the efficient implementation of coverage measures prescribed within the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), Annual Budgets, Finance Acts and Nationwide Improvement Plan (NDP),’’ he defined.

The minister additionally faulted Atiku’s place that ‘Nigeria underneath the APC-led authorities has constantly run on price range deficits since

It got here to energy in 2015’, and the ‘price range deficits are sometimes above the three per cent threshold permissible underneath the Fiscal Duty Legislation’.

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“It is a misrepresentation of the info. The reality is that Nigeria has been working on price range deficits since 2009 (not since 2015), even when oil costs had been greater than US$100 per barrel.

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“You’ll recall that oil costs fell considerably from mid-2014, ensuing within the nation’s economic recession in 2016.

“The urgency to get well from the recession by way of an expansionary fiscal coverage resulted within the continued price range deficits,’’ he mentioned

Mr Mohammed admitted that within the final three years, the price range deficit stage exceeded the three per cent threshold stipulated within the Fiscal Duty Act 2007 however gave causes for such economic efficiency.

“Once more, that is comprehensible as a result of shortly after the Nigerian economic system recovered from recession, it was hit by the results of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What His Excellency failed to inform his viewers is that the Fiscal Duty Act, Part 12(2), permits for the price range deficit to exceed the three per cent threshold.

“If within the opinion of the president, there’s a clear and current risk to nationwide safety or the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“You’ll agree that the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an existential risk in all economies of the world, Nigeria inclusive.

“Although Nigeria shortly recovered from the economic recession, it’s now going through the results of the Russia-Ukraine warfare, the lingering impression of COVID-19, and elevated inflation in most economies.

“All these are prompting financial tightening, with the opposed results on capital influx to rising markets economies,’’ he defined.

The minister mentioned the blueprint introduced by Atiku Atiku on debt is already being achieved by this Buhari administration.

Mr Mohammed recalled that the previous vp mentioned, ‘we’ll evaluation the nation’s debt technique by specializing in concessional and semi-concessional sources with decrease rates of interest and comparatively long-term maturity.’

Based on him, to handle debt service prices and scale back refinancing danger, the thrust of the technique is that this administration will maximise concessional borrowing from multilateral and bilateral sources.

As well as, he mentioned new borrowing within the home and worldwide capital markets could be for lengthy tenors.

“To substantiate the dedication to the above technique and their implementation, greater than 58 per cent of the Exterior Debt Inventory as of March 31, 2022, was from multilateral and bilateral sources

“Brief-term home debt is lower than 22 per cent of the Whole Home Debt Inventory as of the identical date.

“In any case, the Lagos-Ibadan, the Abuja-Kaduna and the Warri-Itakpe commonplace gauge rail traces had been constructed with concessional loans, identical to the continuing rehabilitation of the Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri slender gauge line,’’ he mentioned.

The minister mentioned the brand new airport terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt had been financed with concessional loans.

He, due to this fact, reiterated that the previous vp had not mentioned something new.

(NAN)


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